While some new puzzlers attempt to recapture Portal’s witty, mind-bending magic, many dedicated fans continue to reimagine Aperture Science with custom mods. I’ve sifted through the thousands of maps and full-sized experiences on Steam’s Workshop to bring you the top 10 best Portal 2 mods you won’t regret trying.
How to Get Mods for Portal 2
Each mod I’ve included on this list is easily downloaded on Steam, so getting them is quite simple. The main requirement is that you have Portal 2 purchased and installed. From there, you can use the links I’ve provided to head to the mod’s Steam page or Community Workshop page and add them to your library. Nearly all of the ones I’ve laid out here are free, too, which is all the more reason to give them a try. I’m partial to the ones that feel like full-fledged games on their own, but even the bite-sized creations offer excellent Portal-worthy challenges!
10 Best Community-Made Portal 2 Mods
The best way I can describe “The Intruder,” developed by Igrium, is that it’s an extremely imaginative community map that catches you off guard. With the opening Cave Johnson speech and the first seemingly normal chamber, nothing seems amiss at first. Then there’s the increasingly unsettling vibe and weird happenings all throughout, and you’ll begin wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. Overall, this is a fun, well-designed map that offers between 30 minutes to one hour of playtime. Download it here to try it out.
Created by LoneWolf2056, Dilapidation is exactly what it sounds like. Aperture Laboratories is coated in an atmospheric overgrown look, and you’ll navigate the neglected facility as you try to escape with your companion cube. As far as difficulty goes, it’s harder than many mods, but like all the best puzzlers, it’s so satisfying to figure out the solution. If you’re looking for a set of maps that will fry your brain for at least two to three hours, definitely give it a go. You can grab all seven maps through the collection on Steam.
Similar to Dilapidation, Above Aperture is a single-player experience that comes in four parts. If you loved the outdoor puzzles of Talos Principle 2, this one will scratch that itch. In it, you’ll explore open-sky chambers, which feel quite different from the confined rooms you get in Portal 2. I’ll warn you, it doesn’t ease you into things. From the start, these solutions are hard to discover, and you’ll need to make some difficult jumps and find elusive cracks in the environment. One of its most unique features, though, are the secret songs you can find. Grab the collection here.
Thinking with Time Machine
I’m all for time-traveling games, so one of the best mods I think you should get is Thinking with Time Machine. Is anyone really surprised that Aperture messed with the space-time continuum? Probably not. With the help of the titular time machine, you get to create a twin of yourself to help you solve puzzles. But it’s more like an extra challenge than an extra hand when it comes to coordinating the two of you. If you don’t mind the lack of voice acting, the difficult chambers and nice design are great reasons to pick this one up. Check it out on its Steam page.
Developed by Portanis, Portal Reloaded takes concepts from Portal 2, but switches things up with a third portal. With three different portals at your command, you’ll navigate its 25 chambers by traveling through space and time, which is the new portal’s special trick. What I love about Reloaded, though, is that it lets you take on challenges with a partner thanks to its co-op update. You get to decide who handles regular portals and who uses the new portal, creating some interesting solutions that you can discover. It’s available to download for free here.
Wheatley’s Unscientific Tests
It’s not Portal 2 without our iconic deuteragonist Wheatley, so why not try your hand at escaping Wheatley’s Science test facility in Loo-Kin’s Wheatley’s Unscientific Tests? From abandoned turret warehouses to epic explosions, you’re in for an exciting time with this six-part collection. Like other maps mentioned in this list, these will challenge your puzzle-solving skills to the max. Download it here.
The Paradine Parable
The Paradine Parable is a bite-sized experience that can be finished in under 30 minutes, but it’s packed with a lot of fun. The orange Propulsion Gel makes an appearance immediately, allowing you to slide and jump your way through its early obstacles. The more you play, the more confusing it gets with several chambers to navigate, but the pacing of the difficulty is great all the way through. Give it a try here.
Portal Stories: Mel
One of the most well-loved community mods, Portal Stories: Mel offers six to 10 hours of gameplay, several achievements, a free soundtrack, and custom assets. That’s all to say: I’m surprised it’s free. In it, you’ll follow the tale of Mel, the unfortunate tester of the faulty Aperture: Science Innovators Short-Term Relaxation Vault. Now, she has to escape. All in all, it truly feels like its own thing from its thoughtfully crafted narrative and incredibly fun logic puzzles. Download it here.
Set between Portal and Portal 2, Portal: Revolution takes you on a journey to restore Aperture to its former glory. You’ll join forces with Stirling, shooting portals through 40 test chambers and utilizing brand-new mechanics. Like Portal Stories: Mel, its intriguing, fully-voiced story will draw you in. Honestly, it might rival Mel, but I’ll leave that for you to decide. You can get it for free now on Steam.
Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative
Aside from the cool title, you should try Aperture Tag because it’s pure, unhinged fun. With the Paint-Gun replacing your standard Portal Gun, you’ll solve chambers in exciting new ways. The full campaign offers 27 maps, a new character, voice-acting, and even an in-game level editor. However, unlike the other mods I’ve mentioned, this is the only one that isn’t free. But with it’s polished design, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Grab it on Steam here.
Honorable Mention: Aperture Desk Job
Developed by Valve (no, it’s not Portal 3), Aperture Desk Job is a Portal spin-off made to test the Steam Deck. It places you in the role of an entry-level nobody, and you’ll use the handheld controls to play through it. In Valve fashion, it’s a fun and hilarious time. If you have a Deck, be sure to give this a try, especially if you love all things Portal. Download it for free here.
I hope you love these top 10 Portal 2 mods as much as I do. They’re definitely a good way to keep your puzzle-solving skills sharp for a potential Portal 3 release. At least, I hope. If you’re looking for more mod-related content here on GameSkinny, check out our lists of the best Skyrim mods and best Ark Survival Ascended mods.